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Photo exhibition celebrates Vietnam and Bulgaria ties




Unique black-and-white and colour photos reflecting the traditional friendship and diplomatic ties between Vietnam and Bulgaria over the past 70 years are being displayed at an exhibition

that opened on Sunday at the National News Centreat No 5, Ly Thuong Kiet Street, Hanoi.

Photo exhibition celebrates Vietnam and Bulgaria ties
Visitors view photos that are displayed at “70 years of Vietnam-Bulgaria Friendship and Development” exhibition. — VNA/VNS Photos Luong Huong

The “70 years of Vietnam-Bulgaria Friendship and Development” exhibition is jointly held by Vietnam News Agency (VNA) and Bulgarian News Agency (BTA), in partnership with the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Vietnam.

It consists of 70 rare photos, symbolising the 70th anniversary of Vietnam-Bulgaria diplomatic relations.

Attending the opening ceremony were representatives of Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism; Central Propaganda and Training Commission; Ministry of Information and Communications, Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations; Vietnam – Bulgaria Friendship Association, Vietnam Journalists Association; the ambassadors and representatives of diplomatic delegations from different countries and related organisations.

Addressing the event, VNA General Director Nguyen Duc Loi emphasised that the cooperation between the VNA and BTA has been and will continue to strengthen the understanding between the people of the two countries, consolidating the traditional friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and Bulgaria in all fields.

The general director also asserted his belief that VNA and BTA, besides reflecting the cooperation activities in the fields of politics, diplomacy, economy and society, would also continue to bridge Vietnamese and Bulgarian businesses as well as contribute to people-to-people exchange activities of the two nations.

The images of the country and people of Vietnam and Bulgaria as well as the potential and strengths of each country will be constantly spread on the information channels of both agencies, he stressed.

According to him, the photos on display have been selected from the archives of both VNA and BTA.

Prominent among them are images of President Ho Chi Minh during his official friendship visit to Bulgaria in August 1957, which marked a significant milestone in the bilateral relations, as well as pictures of Bulgarian senior leaders during their official visits to Vietnam that followed.

Photo exhibition celebrates Vietnam and Bulgaria ties
A prominent photo displayed at “70 years of Vietnam-Bulgaria Friendship and Development” exhibition, showing President Ho Chi Minh’s address to the Bulgarian people in Sofia during his official visit to Bulgaria from August 13-17, 1957.

“Many of the photographs highlight the both moral and material support and assistance extended by the Bulgarian government and people to Vietnam during the latter’s cause for national liberation, construction and defence in the 1970s and 1980s.

“The development of the traditional friendship and multifaceted cooperation between the two countries in recent years are also manifested at the exhibition,” he stressed.

Speaking at the exhibition, the Bulgarian ambassador to Vietnam, Manirela Petkova, stressed that the event introduces an insight into the historical course of the bilateral relationship, taking viewers on a visual journey of relationships across multiple fields, as well as feel the dynamics and variety of cooperation between the two nations.

According to her, the aim of the exhibition is to share a story about the vital role of diplomacy and dialogue in establishing, influencing and strengthening peaceful relations between nations.

On this occasion, the ambassador also highly appreciated the efforts of the Vietnamese government and people in successfully controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, which enabled the exhibition to be realised.

Both the ambassador and the general director of VNA expressed their condolences for the recent death of the general director of BTA, Maxin Minchev, on November 15.

Vietnam and Bulgaria enjoy long-lasting partnership and cooperation. Bulgaria was among the first ten countries in the world to recognise and establish diplomatic relations with Vietnam (February 1950).

Over the years, the exchange and dialogue between the countries have been continuously strengthened and developed to new heights.

“70 years of Vietnam-Bulgaria Friendship and Development” exhibition will run until November 22.

Highlighted photos of the exhibition will be displayed at the ceremony celebrating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of Vietnam-Bulgaria diplomatic relations, held by the Bulgarian embassy in Vietnam today at the Hanoi Opera House.  VNS



Na overcomes all challenges to win heptathlon gold




Nguyễn Linh Na holds the flag high after claiming gold in the SEA Games. — VNA/ Photo Quốc Khánh

Thanh Nga

After 17 years of waiting, Nguyễn Linh Na has helped Vietnamese athletics claim their first SEA Games gold medal in the heptathlon.

Attending the region’s biggest sports event for the first time, Na caused an upset when she won the gold medal in the women’s heptathlon with 5,415 points, breaking Vietnamese Nguyễn Thị Thu Cúc’s 17-year national record of 5,350 points in the process. 

This was also the first time since 2005 that Vietnamese athletics won gold in this category in the regional Games. Na’s achievement is even more special as just two years ago, she intended to retire because of a necrosis injury.

“I think playing one sport is boring, so playing seven sports will be more interesting. It is the first time I have attended the SEA Games and to win the gold medal at home made me extremely happy,” Na said.

Na is 25 years old. She is a Mường ethnic from Hòa Bình Province and is an athlete in the Military team. A few months ago, her achievement at the national championship was 5,096 points and she herself was surprised that she was able to improve her achievement by more than 300 points to win the SEA Games gold medal at home.

A challenging medal

The heptathlon is the toughest event to win a medal in the track and field. At this year’s Games, only six athletes from Việt Nam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand participated. SEA Games 30 bronze medalist Sunisa Khotseemueang of Thailand dropped out after the first three sports.

Na and Hoàng Phương Giang represented Việt Nam. They had to compete in seven sports in just two days including 100m hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200m run, long jump, javelin throw, and 800m run.

“When I competed in the first sports, I didn’t think I could win. Really, right now I don’t still believe I took the gold medal. The score of 5,415 is also my best achievement so far,” Na said.

“At first, I was a bit nervous because I attended the SEA Games for the first time. But the home turf advantage and support of the audience gave me a great motivation to achieve this result. I would like to thank everyone,” Na added.

Na’s victory was even more meaningful as she overcame the SEA Games 30 gold medalist Sarah Dequinan of the Philippines and SEA Games 30 silver medalist Norliyana Kamaruddin of Malaysia.

The coach who inspired Na is a familiar face of military and Vietnamese sports, Lieutenant Colonel Vũ Văn Huyện. Huyện is famous in the region, having won gold in the men’s decathlon in four consecutive SEA Games.

Huyện himself was also surprised by Na’s achievement: “I thought Na would win about 5,200 points as in the national championship in 2021, her score was only 5,096 points. However, she performed well in all events and won a spectacular gold medal. The desire to dedicate herself to the country’s sports at her first Games has given Na a great source of strength”.

“I was more nervous and trembling when I watched Na compete than when I competed in the past. However, she was good, really good. I saw that she has supernatural power. She performed smoothly in any categories, without errors. She suffered an injury to her thigh but she never gave up. Her fitness was only about 70 per cent but her efforts were great,” Huyện added.

According to Na, she met her injury after completing the 2020 tournament and had to have surgery.

“In 2020, I had a period when I wanted to quit training because this sport requires a lot of physical strength. I was very discouraged and wanted to give up, but my will did not allow it. I wanted to play at the SEA Games held at home, compete for the first time and bring glory to the country,” Na said.


Nguyễn Linh Na celebrates her win with her mother. — Photo

Witnessing her daughter win a gold medal at the Mỹ Đình National Stadium, Nguyễn Thị Thủy, Na’s mother, said: “That’s what I expected. Before, I just thought it was a dream, but the Games 31 has turned the dream come true. When I hold my daughter in my arms, I could only say thank you.”

Thủy said Na didn’t tell her about her difficult times in training, only promising to try her best to win.

From an unknown athlete in Vietnamese athletics, Na has gradually asserted herself, overcoming injuries and difficulties during training and competition to reach the pinnacle of regional success.

This is the “sweet fruit” for the Mường girl after more than ten years of training in this fierce sport.



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Wimbledon to remove ‘Miss’ and ‘Mrs’ from honours boards: report



Wimbledon will drop the titles “Miss” and “Mrs” before the names of female winners on its honour roll to match the men’s boards in an attempt to modernise the tournament, The Times newspaper reported.

The All England Lawn Tennis Club has traditionally used the titles just for women – Ash Barty, last year’s champion, was refereed to as “Miss A. Barty” whereas men’s winner Novak Djokovic went on the board as “N. Djokovic”.

In 2019, organisers did away with the use of honorifics when announcing scores in women’s matches but the events continue to be referred to as “gentlemen’s singles” and “ladies’ singles”.

The change will also put an end to married women being identified by both the initials and surnames of their husbands.

The grasscourt major, which has been stripped of ranking points by the ATP and WTA over its decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players due to Moscow’s attack on Ukraine, gets underway on June 27.


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This needs nipping in the bud asap




City fans broke the crossbar during a pitch invasion last Sunday. — AFP Photo.


Paul Kennedy

A study carried out a few years ago by researchers at Ohio State University and the University of Alabama in the US came to the conclusion that when a particular sporting team wins, fans experienced a high that lasted at least two days.

It suggested that supporters will feel a huge boost to their own personal self-esteem following a particular victory for at least 48 hours.

I’m sorry to rain on the parade of those who carried out the study, but you are kind of stating the obvious really.

My team wins, ergo I feel good for a bit. It’s not really rocket science is it?

Over the past few weeks, football fans have had an awful lot to feel good about. But sadly some have expressed their joy in a concerning way.

After Nottingham Forest beat Sheffield United to ensure a place in the EFL Championship play-off final, Forest fans rushed the pitch en masse.

During the melee that followed, United’s Billy Sharp was head-butted by one of the hundreds of pitch-invaders.

The following week, after Everton beat Crystal Palace to ensure Premier League survival, thousands of jubilant Evertonians also invaded the pitch.

This time it was Palace manager Patrick Vieira who reacted, kicking out at an Everton supporter who was clearly goading him.

I can’t defend Patrick for his reaction, but there is part of me which understands why he did it.

Then again, after Manchester City won the Premier League title on the last day of the campaign, another invasion, with Aston Villa goalkeeper Robin Olsen attacked by a City supporter as he made his way off the pitch.

In the case of Billy Sharp, justice has been swift. A man was arrested, charged and jailed for 24 weeks for the assault.

Two City fans have also been charged by police following the incident at the Etihad Stadium.

There’s no better feeling that winning, but to celebrate in the manner we’ve seen this week is nothing short of appalling.

I don’t know how it can be stopped either. When tens of thousands of supporters feel the urge to invade the pitch, there’s little the police and stewards can do about it.

Nobody wants go back to the dark days of the 1980s and see fencing erected at stadiums but I honestly can’t offer a better solution.

You can’t change the behaviour of the average football fans in England. Their support is tribal, and all common sense goes out the window when an important victory is secured.

Maybe UK football fans should take a look east to understand how passion and euphoria can be expressed in an unbridled, yet safe manner.

Việt Nam’s U23 men’s and women’s football teams both won gold at the SEA Games last week. And sure, it may not be the first team, and with the greatest respect to the tournament, there are plenty bigger to compete for.

But after the final whistle, the country came alive as hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets to celebrate the victories.

And while it may have been chaotic for a good few hours, it was perfectly safe, trouble free and great fun to be part of.

Maybe for their next assignment, academics at Ohio State University and the University of Alabama should study Vietnamese football fans. Here the euphoria and self-esteem following an important victory lasts a hell of a lot longer than just a few days.


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